Restaurant & Bar Awards 2023

56 | LUXlife Magazine - Restaurant & Bar Awards 2023 atsu is a Japanese word which when literally translated means to wait. Many things are worth waiting for, and well worth the time it takes. The word, chosen for the restaurant name, can also be indicative of the oriental culture of caring for the natural world. This links in beautifully with the landscape of San Diego, or the terroir, as it were. Terroir being the complete natural environment in which a particular product, normally wine, is produced. Terroir takes into consideration the soil, topography, and climate of an area. It is used in relation to describing the flavours imparted to a drink or indeed food that hails from a specific region. In terms of the connections between San Diego and Japanese culture, pine is very much a shared focus. Pine is prevalent within Japan, just as pine trees are abundant in Southern California. For example, the beautiful coastal region of Torrey Pines in San Diego. Matsu, the restaurant, is all about such connections, as well as shared culture, techniques, traditions, and philosophy in food. The eatery focuses on much of what grows locally, but not to the exclusion of incredible Japanese food from further afield. As a case in point, Matsu has a sunflower dish featuring cuttlefish; a squid that is abundant within San Diego waters. For this particular course, however, the quality of the Sumi Ika, sourced from Aichi Prefecture in Japan, is so good it makes it worth the extra effort needed to obtain it. The very essence of Matsu comes not just from its superb food, but also from its minimalist design aesthetic. It is simple, direct and has nothing to hide behind. Matsu has continued its refinement of the business, its service, and its food over time. It is proud to focus only on what is truly necessary, and discard what it can do without. This attitude has helped it keep true to its minimalist ideals, and further build on them in the right way. The way Matsu endeavours to deliver excellence in its food and beverages is by running a low inventory of items. It places stock orders often, and weighs or measures just about everything in order to control consistency. Matsu’s chefs taste as they go, constantly checking flavours remain consistent through time and season. Within the industry at present, Matsu has been affected by the sudden rise in labour and ingredient costs. At the moment this is something affecting the sector across the board. Rising energy prices are having a detrimental knock-on effect for so many businesses. Matsu’s own gas bill was doubled over night recently. The way it has reacted is by learning to simplify its techniques whilst still retaining the same depth of flavour. This adjustment was necessary to compensate for having less staff. The staff Matsu does employ are chosen selectively. It values people with a willingness to learn and grow. Employee happiness and well-being is Best Fine Contemporary Dining Experience 2023 – San Diego County Matsu is a first-class restaurant in San Diego that specialises in modern Japanese cuisine. Guests can choose a 10-course tasting menu showcasing seasonal bounty from Southern California as well as exceptional product direct from Japan. Matsu provides a bespoke hospitality experience in its award-winning fine dining establishment. very important to Matsu. It knows if its staff are excited about coming to work, if they feel comfortable, heard, and taken care of, this translates to a dedication and willingness to go the extra mile. Ultimately, this is what ensures the overall success of the business, so it’s essential to get the balance right. Matsu always wants to continue growing and refining its craft. Day by day its intention is always to become a better version of itself. Its commitment and hard work in this area is what has led to it being awarded the title of Best Fine Contemporary Dining Experience 2023 – San Diego County. A welldeserved accolade for a divine eatery that continues to delight customers with truly exceptional cuisine. Contact: William Eick Company: Matsu Web Address: M